April 2019. In the midst of the playoffs, while TVA Sports has obtained the rights to broadcast the matches, Quebecor decides to cut the signal to the 400,000 Bell subscribers, in reaction to a commercial dispute – despite a Council decision. Canadian Broadcasting and Telecommunications (CRTC).
Shortly after the courts ordered Québécor to restore the signal, the plaintiff Catherine Valiquette decided to bring a class action on behalf of all Bell subscribers who would have been deprived of a signal, between April 10 and 12, 2019.
These are the lawyers Jean-Philippe Caron and Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, of Calex Legal, who took care of it.
Me Érika Normand-Couture, de Woods, as well as Me Francois Clement, working for Quebecor Media, were the defendants’ lawyers.
The judge Sylvain Lussier authorized this action, which claims $ 100 million from Pierre-Karl Péladeau’s company – or $ 250 for each of the 400,000 subscribers concerned.
After the signal was cut, Bell tried to reduce the damage by giving its subscribers free access to Sportsnet, where the games were broadcast in English. Quebecor’s lawyers tried to convince the judge that the disadvantages had been minimal. But this did not convince the magistrate.
“The members paid to see their games in French,” said Judge Lussier. The court does not have to discuss linguistic issues at this stage. Members did not have access to the service they paid for. Point. The same goes for the suggestion to mute in English and listen to 98.5 FM at the same time. “
The defendants also argued that the Montreal Canadiens did not participate in the playoff games broadcast between April 10 and 12, 2019.
“The elimination of the Canadian is not yet provided for in the Civil Code of Quebec as a means of extinguishing or reducing obligations,” noted the judge.